An Early start of the year: Sylvester in Poland. Followed by another trip to Kolkata (via Istanbul). The Kolkata visit will be featured in a separate post (with more photos and also more text – a bit like what we did for the 2011 trip there).
Mumbai (IN) – March
Flying back from Kolkata allowed for a short visit into the city whilst waiting for the next flight to Istanbul. With the help of Uber taxis (the metro still does not run to the airport) the preserved tram outside Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus was visited. The bogies (and maybe parts of the body) most likely came from articulated Kolkata tram Staff Car 3 (S.C.3 was sold to Mumbai – but we think this BEST tram should really be a 2 axle car – see here). On the way back to the airport a ride on the Monorail was also possible with a few photos here and there. The metro was not used and remains on the list of things to see in the future (hopefully one can catch a metro from the airport down to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus then). No double deck buses could be seen, they probably operated in other areas (up to 900 new battery double deck buses are on order).
Istanbul (TR) – February and March
Istanbul was used as a stop-over to and from the long flights to Kolkata (via Delhi going there and Mumbai coming back). A few more lines have opened (mostly metros or funiculars but also tram line T5). We visited the nice Rahmi M. Koç Museum again and also made use of the ferries. It was still cold in Istanbul. There wasn’t enough time to ride all the new metro lines (with heavy luggage we even went to the new big airport using a taxi instead of the new high speed metro operated by the state railway – once it connects to downtown Istanbul better in the future it will be tried out eventually). Luckily the airport on the Asian side can now be reached by metro (but of course lacks a fast and easy connection to the European side: transfer on ferry or Marmaray needed).
Lodz (PL) – January
We started the year with a visit to Lodz (PL). Some photos were actually taken on the last day of the year 2022. Brus Museum was visited again and also Chochianowice and Telefoniczna depots. Little time was availble to chase tram in the town but then much of the system is closed for renovation anyway. Most of the unrebuilt Konstal cars are due for retirement in 2023 and a few have now been renumbered (right after out visit) to make space for new trams (new and second hand that is). We also paid another visit to the tram on display in Rgzow. The tramline in Pabianice is much advanced and should open soon (no photos as we just drove along it in the night). Below is a listing of the now renumbered Konstal cars:
Gorzow (PL) – January
With all three tram lines back in service the modernised “Helmut” trams (ex Kassel) can be seen now. But these will be replaced by more new rolling stock (which has already been ordered). We did not visit the depot this time but had a quick look through the fence (more Helmuts and also more low floor cars were sitting inside, there does not seem to be a shortage of vehicles).